Coastal speed trap

Thursday, January 26

A POLICE sting along the Great Ocean Road has resulted in 23 license suspensions.

Operation Reef caught nine motorists exceeding speed limits by more than 50km/h. The highest recorded speed was 170km/h, while Surf Coast TMU officers have also caught motorists travelling at 153km/h in a 90 zone and at 148km/h in an 80 zone.

Police also issued a total of 355 penalty notices as part of the operation, including 270 notices to motorists for either speeding or overtaking on double lines at the east end of the iconic tourist road.

Sergeant Pat Cleary said police had also charged an offender with theft of motorcar.

Officers also charged two motorists with drink-driving and eight disqualified or unlicensed riders or drivers.

Sgt Cleary said his crew used a variety of methods during the operation in a bid to reduce collisions along the Great Ocean Road.

``The quality of the road has improved significantly with recent upgrades and the reduction of the speed limit to 80 km/h has helped to reduce crash rates. However, there is still a minority that continue to speed and take unnecessary risks. It is this element that police have focused on and will continue to do so,'' he said.

``Operation Reef had a two-pronged approach with up to seven traffic police units working along the Great Ocean Road and on the nearby feeder roads.

``During December, the police helicopter was used for overhead detection, but this operation has been far more successful, with police reverting to some old fashioned methods that many unsuspecting riders considered sneaky.''

The operation's main method involved the use of video cameras and plain clothed officers hiding in bushes beside the road. Officers then alerted marked cars further along the road if they noticed any motorists speeding.

Marked cars then used their radars, combined with video evidence, to catch speeding drivers and motorcyclists.